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KS4 Geography: Glasgow - a case study 2

2 of 4: slum clearance, redevelopment and re-housing

Main image of KS4 Geography: Glasgow - a case study 2
AuthorPoppy Simpson, BFI
TopicGlasgow: redevelopment, re-housing and new towns
Show full lesson spec

Who Cares? (1971) examines the problems of slum demolition and removal of people to new housing blocks, letting the inhabitants speak for themselves.

In this unit of work (Glasgow: a case study) a series of films about housing in and around Glasgow form the basis of a detailed analysis of change in inner city Glasgow from the interwar period onwards. Over the course of four lessons, students are introduced to conditions in Glasgow's 19th century tenement buildings, the redevelopment plans of Glasgow City Corporation in the 1950s, the various initiatives to re-house people in different areas of the city as well the development of new towns such as Cumbernauld and East Kilbride.

In this lesson students are asked to weigh up the potential advantages and disadvantages or re-housing people from inner-city Glasgow in new housing estates on the periphery of the city and explore the impact of new, high-density housing schemes on community life.

Lesson Objective

  • To explore plans to re-develop Glasgow from the perspective of inner-city residents being re-housed and to consider the social and environmental impact of re-locating people into housing schemes on the city outskirts.


Begin with a review of the previous lesson. Why did Glasgow need re-development? What kind of proposals were put forward by the city planning committee? How do the re-development plans correspond to students' understanding of land use models?


Main Attraction

Students will need to be given some background information on Glasgow's redevelopment plans:

  • While many of the proposals outlined in the Bruce Report were not taken up, its suggestion to pull down the inner-city tenements/terraces and re-locate workers to the periphery of Glasgow was
  • Slum clearances began in the 1950s and many workers were moved into new housing schemes in Castlemilk, Drumchapel and Easterhouse
  • A series of new towns, including East Kilbride, Irvine and Cumbernauld were also planned
  • In 1960 the city corporation unveiled an ambitious 20 year plan to regenerate six square miles of Glasgow's inner-city areas.

Having looked through these bullet points, what problems do students foresee in moving people from the inner city into new housing on the city outskirts and new towns? Ask them to list the potential advantages and disadvantages of re-locating people to these areas before sharing their thoughts with others. Can pairs of students generate different categories into which their various points can be organised (ie. social/economic/environmental)?

Of course, solving urban problems means change and change can lead to disagreement! Challenge students to consider their list of advantages and disadvantages from the perspective of two different groups - the people being relocated and the council/planners making the decision to move them. What are the possible pros and cons from a resident's point of view compared to a town planner's? Where do their views coincide and differ?

Building on this, ask pupils to construct a public letter from a tenement/terrace resident to a local newspaper in response to the decision to re-house them - will they wholeheartedly welcome the scheme? What concerns/questions might they have?

Finally, to shed light on the experience of moving from the inner-city to the outskirt of a city, watch the short extracts from Who Cares? (1971). The film deals with the experience of Liverpudlians being rehoused from inner city terraces to suburban high-rise estates and uses local voices to explain the negative impact that high-density housing has had on community life.

As the extracts play ask students to note down the various complaints that people make, particularly in Life on the New Estates. Based on the information in Glasgow Today and Tomorrow do students think that re-housing plans will have had the same negative impact?


End Credits

End the lesson with some research into Castlemilk, Drumchapel and Easterhouse (links below). It might be useful for students to look back at their notes on the housing proposals made in Glasgow Today and Tomorrow in lesson one. Did the planners achieve their aims? What can students learn about the successes and failures of the housing schemes in these areas? How have these areas changed over time? Small groups could look into one area in particular and feed back their findings to the rest of the class.


External Links

Video Clips
Glasgow Today and Tomorrow: Complete film (7:56)
Who Cares?: Life in the terraces (2:05)
Who Cares?: Life on the new estates (2:29)
Who Cares?: The ruins of the terraces (2:19)
Downloadable Teaching Resources

Related Films and TV programmes

Thumbnail image of Glasgow Today And Tomorrow (1949)Glasgow Today And Tomorrow (1949)

Read more about this film

Thumbnail image of Who Cares (1971)Who Cares (1971)

Read more about this film

See also

Thumbnail image of KS4 Geography: Glasgow - a case study 1KS4 Geography: Glasgow - a case study 1

1 of 4: slum clearance, redevelopment and re-housing

Thumbnail image of KS4 Geography: Glasgow - a case study 3KS4 Geography: Glasgow - a case study 3

3 of 4: slum clearance, redevelopment and re-housing

Thumbnail image of KS4 Geography: Glasgow - a case study 4KS4 Geography: Glasgow - a case study 4

4 of 4: slum clearance, redevelopment and re-housing